This is How To Add Hiking To Garmin Vivoactive 4 & 4S!

How To Add Hiking To Garmin Vivoactive 4 & 4S

There is no doubt that Vivoactive 4 and 4S are the ideal watches that support an active lifestyle when it comes to working at the gym or jogging. 

And a great help in monitoring health and fitness. These same factors may make you wonder if you can add hiking as an activity in your Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S. 

But first, let us see how to add hiking to GV4 and 4S.

Although smart activity watches, the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S are primarily not designed for hiking. But you can improvise using them for hiking by taking advantage of the custom activity. Therefore, you can add hiking as an activity to the activity list, or you may edit and change one of the activities for hiking.

Does Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S Have Hiking Mode?

How To Add Hiking To Garmin Vivoactive 4 & 4S

Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S may be good innovative activity watches, but strictly and primarily speaking, they are not designed for hiking. Thus, they lack a hiking mode.

It can not perform for more than eight hours, even if you use it for casual hikes. Also, it may never show you all the relevant data since it does not have a designated hiking mode.

It is not as if Garmin Vivoactive watches cannot hike, no! For instance, the Garmin Vivoactive 3 is an excellent beginner watch for hiking with a battery lasting more than 10 hours.

Garmin Instinct is also excellent for hiking. So, the lack of hiking mode is a problem you find only with Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S alone.

There are a few things that, if you are genuinely looking for, I suggest you purchase the Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S.

These things are as follows;

  • If you are in search of a versatile watch that can do it all
  • If you are a type that engages in indoor exercises like gyming and a bit of outdoor activity like jogging.
  • And if you want to keep track of your health, create workouts yourself.

Unlike its predecessor, Garmin Vivoactive 3, which has a standard Vivoactive 3 and Vivoactive 3 Music, the GV4 and 4S carry a variety of activities with differences in sizes alone.

Below is a list of several new additions in Vivoactive 4 and 4S that make it better than the Vivoactive 3 if you want to try hiking with it;

  • With Spotify, iHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and Deezer, music is now standard.
  • The Vivoactive 4 has a color touchscreen display and is 45mm
  • The Vivoactive 4S has a color touchscreen display and is 40mm
  • You can now estimate your post-workout sweat loss 
  • With Hydration tracking, it can now your liquid intake via app and widget
  • To build strength and help with Cardio, Yoga, and Pilates, it comes with a workout animation function
  • To access lap, back, and menu, there is now a secondary button by the side
  • There is now respiration for all-day and sleep metrics
  • There is also now breathwork exercise
  • The workouts for your Yoga Pilates come with step-by-step animations
  • You can now also design your Yoga workouts to the Garmin Connect
  • You can now also design your Pilates workouts to the Garmin Connect
  • The new pulseOX feature allows and helps for constant blood oxygen tracking
  • It also has a revamped health stat widget just like  Fenix models
  • It started using Sony GPS chipset like the Garmin 2019 units
  • Also moved to use the optical HR sensor of Garmin V3
  • The battery life can go five days on standby, while the GPS+music lasts for six hours

The table below also identifies the pros and cons associated with Vivoactive 4 and 4S when it comes to hiking.

Pros Cons
Smartwatch featuresPoor battery life (13 hours GPS mode and 7 to 8 days for smartwatch mode)
Affordable priceAbsence of hiking mode

How Do I Add Hiking To Garmin Vivoactive 4?

One good thing about Garmin Vivoactive and 4S is that you can add or create a custom activity.

First, you must press ‘Select’ then ‘Add more and then choose the activity type to copy.

Then the next step would be to select an activity name and ensure to edit the activity and app settings. Finally, at the end of the editing, select ‘Done.’

Copy an activity if you intend to add hiking to your Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S. For example, it could be the one showing as a walk or bike and change the name. 

You can change the name to Hike there in Garmin Connect. But then you can also proceed with installing the CQI app that will record activity as hiking.

How Can I Add Hiking To Garmin Vivoactive 4S?

If you follow the same process as the Garmin Vivoactive 4 above, then I am sure you can also add hiking to your Garmin Vivoactive 4S.

Can Garmin Vivoactive 4 & 4s Track Hiking?

Like all other Garmin sports watches, Vivoactive 4 and 4S allow you to track your position when hiking with GPS. And with the aid of Galileo and GLONASS satellites.

Regarding the number of sports your Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S can track, it is so many that it surpasses all other devices in the forerunner range that are of the same price range.

If you are the type that exercises regularly in an area where there is a patchy signal, your Vivoactive 4 and 4S has two components. These components can improve the reliability of the distance you logged in.

The two components that your Vivoactive 4 and 4S have that can improve reliability on the distance you log in when you experience a patchy signal are;

  • Bluetooth
  • ANT+cycling speed/cadence sensors and footpads

However, your GV4 and 4S can hold up to 8 days on smartwatch mode. But, with a GPS mode, it will fall to 16 hours, while if you include music, it will go down to 6 hours.

After occasionally using my Vivoactive 4 and 4S for hiking for less than an hour a day (about 40 to 45 minutes), I now know that my Vivoactive 4 and 4S can only last five days. 

How Do I Record a Hiking Activity On My Garmin?

All you have to do is to follow the same steps you use to record any timed activity on your Garmin. 

And when you finish recording the hike, you can save and send it to your Garmin Connect account.

Below are the steps you must follow to record a hike successfully;

  • Hold the touchscreen so that you can view the menu
  • Then tap on select
  • Scroll down through the activity list, and you will find the following;
  • Select for walking (which you may change to hiking)
  • Select for running
  • Select a cardio activity
  • Select for strength training
  • Select other activities 
  • To start the timer, double-tap the touchscreen
  • Begin hiking
  • You can see additional data screens by swiping the touchscreen
  • You can stop the timer by double tapping the touch screen when you have finished hiking. And note that you can double tap to resume the hike.
  • Swipe to select one of the two options that appear, which are;
  • Select to save the activity
  • Select to delete the activity

Please note that there are times when recording your hike with the Garmin Vivoactive 4 with a locus map fails. 

As a result, you will be unable to find the tracking information on the Garmin Connect app or website.

Please note that it is a temporary issue from Garmin’s side. So, you must first report the issue concerning the locus map, and then Garmin will fix the problem for you.


You can add hiking as an activity to your Garmin Vivoactive 4 and 4S by either creating a new activity or changing an existing one and renaming it hiking.

The Vivoactive 4 and 4S can track your hiking with the aid of GPS and satellites, even in areas where there are patchy signals.

Josh Matthews

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